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RPG Supplies at the Library: Home

What is an RPG?

RPGs Defined

An RPG, or a role playing game, features collaborative storytelling. Players control characters in imaginary environments while one individual - the Dungeon Master (DM) or the Game Master (GM) - narrates events. An element of chance is added through the use of dice - a roll can determine whether or not a character is able to decipher a code or successfully tackle an enemy. 

A game might go something like this:

DM: "You walk down a dimly lit passageway. The walls are cold to the touch. The passageway bends and twists for several yards until, suddenly, you see a door. The light is faint but you squint and see that it is made of wood. There is a large metal knocker in the center of the door."

Bob (playing as Bergen, the Gnome Rogue): Yeah, Bergen is really suspicious. Can I check for traps?

DM: "Sure. Go ahead and roll to see if Bergen finds any traps."

Bob: (rolling a die) "I rolled a 4. Man, Bergen doesn't see anything, does he?"

DM: "Yeah, your character is unable to locate any traps.

Alice (playing as Kai, the Elf Wizard): "Kai doesn't have any common sense. I raise the knocker and knock three times."  


How to Play & Library Supplies

In order to play one of these games, a person usually needs three things:

  • pencil and paper
  • a selection of dice
  • knowledge of their character and of the rules of the game (usually using a handbook or a rulebook)

The library has supplies for several different tabletop RPGs. These include: 

  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Starfinder
  • Pathfinder
  • Cyberpunk
  • d20 Modern
  • Legend of the Five Rings

All supplies are in Library Reserves. They are available for three day checkouts. Please ask for them at the service desk.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D, is the best known of the tabletop RPGs. It serves as an entry point for many other RPGs based on its history and comparatively easy-to-grasp rules. The first edition was published in the 1970s. There have been several subsequent editions, and the current is the 5th Edition (released in 2014). It is often referred to as D&D 5e, or just 5e.

The library has supplies for both the 4th (2008) and 5th (2014) editions of D&D. These include:

d20 Modern

Like Dungeons & Dragons, d20 Modern is published by Wizards of the Coast. Its rules are similar to those of the 3.5 edition of D&D. The library has the 2002 guidebook.


Cyberpunk is a futuristic RPG from R. Talsorian Games, first published in 1988. The game has gone through a couple different editions, and the library has the guidebook for Cyberpunk 2020, its second iteration.

Pathfinder & Starfinder

Pathfinder and Starfinder are both made by the same company (Paizo). Pathfinder started in 2009, and the new second edition of the game was released in 2019. Starfinder is very similar to Pathfinder in terms of mechanics and structure, but while Pathfinder is set in a pseudo-medieval world, Starfinder takes place many millennia in the future and features elements commonly found in space operas.

The library has supplies for Pathfinder 1st edition (2009) and 2nd edition (2019), as well as for Starfinder (2017). These include:

  • illustrated maps, tokens, story scenarios, etc, contained in a plastic storage bin labeled "Pathfinder" or "Starfinder." Similar to the other RPG supplies, these are in Library Reserves. 

Legend of the Five Rings

Legend of the Five Rings, or L5R, was first published as an RPG in 1997. It features a pseudo-medieval world with strong East Asian influences. It is currently on its fifth edition.

The library has supplies for the third edition of Legend of the Five Rings. These include: